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Why These Esports Leagues Are Causing An Uproar

Nothing attracts players to a video game quite like an organized competition. The screaming crowds, the flashing lights, and the promise of fame and fortune, all earned on the backs of sick video gaming skills — it's almost intoxicating. The key word here is "almost," because some gaming legends have come forward exposing the dark underbelly of certain esports leagues. Prepare to have your view of some games and their leagues tarnished.


Recently, Seth "Scump" Abner made waves pointing an accusatory finger at the Call of Duty League (CDL) for alleged abusive contract practices. Even though he loves playing games like Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War (it is a good game, according to most reviews), he needs a break every so often, so that's what he did. During the off season, Scump took time to play some Raid Shadow Legends, and he was fined. Scump assumed that he could any game he wanted on his channel, but he was still penalized for playing a game that wasn't CoD during a sponsored stream. Something in Scump must have snapped because he later revealed that his team was once presented with a shotgun contract: either sign on the dotted line without running it by lawyers or they couldn't play in a Minnesota CDL tournament. Scump is afraid he will be fined for revealing this dirty secret, but he's taken all he can stands, and he can't stands no more.


If you thought one esports league forcing teams to sign contracts was bad enough, Brandon "Seagull" Larned revealed that the CDL is not alone in this practice. Possibly inspired by Scump's denunciation, Seagull revealed that the Overwatch League tried to make him and the rest of Team Envy sign a strict contract at a player's summit. In order to participate, his entire team had to sign away their rights to their streaming platform, as well as the right to criticize Overwatch. Yes, you read that correctly. Seagull and his compatriots refused and walked away. If you ever wondered why Team Envy didn't participate in the 2018 OWL season, you now know why.

Commenters have gathered around Scump and Seagull to show unwavering support. Responders have started questioning the legality of the contracts (both their wording and practices) and have urged the players to contact lawyers. Moreover, many thread followers are behind the idea of forming a professional esports union. However, only time will tell if this news results in esports league contract changes — or player unionization.